What is Thoroughly Recruitment?

Tell most people you meet that you are ‘in recruitment’, and they almost all immediately think that you work for a traditional recruitment agency.

Shame for the recruitment brand experts, the occupational and organisation psychologists, the recruitment software experts, and the dedicated in-house recruitment professionals.

We believe that recruitment processes should be ‘thorough’! If all elements are done well, and then combined together effectively, a recruitment process should deliver outstanding talent for its host company.

To further a future where all recruitment is ‘thorough’, we have launched our blog to curate and gather together in one place as many elements of recruitment as we can.

So over the coming time, expect us to feature recruitment and employment reports, new developments in talent software, research on effective recruitment techniques, and talent success stories, amongst others.

And we are keen to hear from and feature your own ‘thorough’ recruitment stories – so please comment, email, or sign up to write a guest blog.

We hope you will enjoy recruitment – thoroughly!

Brexit or no Brexit …

…. it’s hard to picture recruitment without uncertainty

As we fast approach an important date for the UK, more and more views about ‘Brexit’ are being aired every day. Opposing arguments, facts and figures can muddy the waters, and when speaking with friends and fellow colleagues there’s uncertainty with both arguments.

With 1 in 20 workers in the UK from the EU and potential changes to free movement, Brexit could have a major impact on the UK’s employment market. But with skills shortages across many of our major employment sectors, it’s hard to picture recruitment without uncertainty; Brexit or no Brexit.

Whether the UK remains or decides to leave the EU, combating challenges in recruitment should be an important consideration for any employer. More than ever, the debate has meant that we’re speaking with clients, partners and other industry experts about breaking down barriers; advising on better ways to attract candidates and open more employment doors.

Offering flexible working

According to Glassdoor, around a third of workers would prefer the option of working flexibly to a pay rise. Some employers will want staff to be fully flexible, but now is the time to be rethinking this – why should employees be flexible if employers aren’t trying it themselves? A change to rota patterns may be a headache in the short-term, but longer term flexibility for staff may create better working environments and aid retention.

Talking with future talent

With the apprenticeship levy announcement, more employers are considering apprentices as an essential route to hire. It’s been disheartening to hear that some schools and colleges are unable to engage with employers or advertise vacancies where they aren’t the chosen learning provider, and we feel strongly about an attitude change to ensure access to employer information is provided to all pupils and students.

Creating a buzz about your sector

Thanks to negative press, bias and misconceptions, it’s not easy to uphold positive industry reputation. For those who face these difficulties, we say do something about it! What does it really mean to work in your world, what exciting challenges can be expected in role, and what rewards go with them? We’re seeing more employers turn to the power of video, social media and gamification to get their message out there – and if you’re one of them – we salute you!


Brexit or no Brexit, the employment sector is ever-changing. As recruitment experts, we have a duty to challenge and break down employment barriers no matter what route the UK takes.


Dave Beesley is passionate about breaking down barriers in recruitment. Get in touch with him at dave.beesley@cohesionrecruitment.com.

Assessment in Recruitment

The evolution of assessment in recruitment

A few weeks ago, I attended the Association for Business Psychology event – The Evolution of Assessment. It was held in a great venue – The Linnean Society, in the very room in which Darwin delivered some of his research around evolution, so very fitting!

The future of assessment

It was interesting to listen to anticipated challenges in the future of assessment, but also to hear more about some of the latest techniques in assessment, all ultimately pushing for a ‘fast, efficient and fair’ recruitment process.

Some highlights and areas to think about:

*Do your assessment methods predict future behaviour? Are they valid?
*Longer tests are perceived by candidates to provide a better experience – is the race for shorter psychometric tests over?
*Will we be using voice analysis or technology that measures facial expressions, when screening video interviews in the future?
*Looking at someone’s online social media profile is not predictive of job performance
*Psychometric tests need to be mobile enabled to ensure good rates of completion
*Gamification is a growing – it provides many more data points than traditional psychometrics, and is engaging and rewarding for candidates to complete, allowing you to measure traits associated with the role being recruited – it can make recruitment fun

Assessment at work

The ABP is working really hard engaging with the world of business, in integrating the use of psychology in a user-friendly way. This event was great at highlighting how intrinsically linked the world of psychology and recruitment are.

Posted by Debs E.


Candidates rule!


Worthwhile recruitment experience

Candidates rule; so making sure they have a relevant and constructive recruitment process will give you a better return on your investment in recruitment.

Here’s what we recommend we focus on in your recruitment process:

  1. Include salary details whenever possible

The philosophy of describing a salary as “competitive” can rule out good candidates.

It wastes the time (and budget) of busy recruiters and annoys candidates by making them spend time looking into jobs that may be wholly unsuitable.

Subjective labeling rarely works; so include salary details and let potential employees decide if you’re competitive or not.

  1. Make your approach applicable to the passive job seekers you’re targeting

The best recruiters will target the most relevant audience; which should include choosing the right sites as well as deploying a direct approach to passive job seekers.

Ever had a call about an accident you didn’t have?  Irrelevant and unwanted attention is rarely welcome so make sure the message you’re sending out to potential applicants is appropriate or you’ll run the risk of turning them off your brand.

  1. Give them a voice……… and listen

Connectivity through social media is growing more common in all age groups, and the businesses that recruit most successfully are those that ask for feedback and listen to it.

Digital natives (generally considered those under 30 in 2015) in particular want to share their experiences- good and bad.

Surveys, websites and new starter interviews are all good ways of gathering feedback, but don’t forget – you can always ask the question when you pass on the outcome of the recruitment process!   

  1. How long does your application process take?  

Candidates will appreciate brevity in this area, so if you don’t know how long it takes to fill in your application form – give it a go!

Remember, experienced candidates know what is required for the job you are advertising, so ask yourself if the information you’re asking for is really relevant or could be gathered later in the recruitment process.

Prompt timelines at all stages in the recruitment process will help give you an edge over the competition, so wherever  possible get your stakeholders organised for prompt feedback, interviews  and assessment dates.

  1. Managers: Tell it like it is!

Hiring managers are at the front line of making sure candidates have a positive experience of the recruitment process.  If they haven’t been involved in much recruitment it’s time well spent to discuss the benefits of delivering a positive experience to every candidate.  Unsuccessful candidates may not be right for you now – but they may be in the future.

Share the detail of the hiring process with managers so they understand the journey and can plan the right questions or assessment for the face to face interview.

Managers can add value to the process for candidates by being honest about the challenges and rewards of the job if they are successful, so reflect reality  – warts and all!

Remember – a recruitment process is two sided.  It’s just as important for candidates to assess your company, job, environment and team and decide if it’s right for them as it is the other way around.

  1. What’s in it for them?

Well, a job potentially, but if they are not successful then what’s in it for them?  It is possible to deliver a positive experience of the recruitment process for candidates, even when they haven’t been successful.

Consider what you can share about the industry, your products and services.  Can you include a learning opportunity in the assessment process?

What takeaways can you give related to candidates self –development or performance during the recruitment process?

If appropriate – talk to candidates about checking back in with you and the company in the future – and make sure they remain engaged with the brand.

  1. Be a person, give a name and keep in touch

Including contact details on emails helps to make the recruitment process more personal and will allow you to develop a better rapport with potential candidates.  Make sure you are in touch at each stage in the process, explaining what will happen next.

Impersonal communications, not being able to call and ask questions during working hours, and not being updated regularly can cause you to lose good candidates.

  1. Pave the way for a great start

After an offer has been accepted it’s just as important to stay in touch regularly.  So do make sure you explain each step of the on-boarding process.  Stay in touch and consider how the new employees new team may be involved. Are there any company events your new starter could attend?  Is there any training they could do before they start?

Contacting candidates at least once a week will reduce the chances of losing your candidate to a counter offer or a last minute worry.


These 8 great tips are provided by our colleague, expert and ‘thorough’ recruiter Amanda Marques.

The value behind Values Based Recruitment

Values based recruitment

We recruit many hundreds (possibly into the thousands) of care workers for our clients each year. It’s tough – care is not a job for the faint-hearted, it’s low paid, hard work, often involves manual tasks and in sometimes distressing circumstances. In many cases it’s a vocation rather than a job.

People who are good at caring for others, love to care (and continue to do so in the most difficult of circumstances), they want to care for all, and are driven by the overall rewards and satisfaction this role brings; and they’re certainly not driven by the financial rewards.

That’s why using a values-based recruitment model works so well in this industry. It’s not about someone’s previous experience or the skills that they have already perfected, but their values, behaviours and potential to care. The skills needed in the role can be taught, the values someone holds are intrinsic.

Never too old

It was really heart-warming to read a blog from an inspirational care worker recently, who only took up the role at the age of 70. In a ‘traditional’ recruitment process I’m not sure her experience working for an antique dealer would have made the shortlist.

Click Here to read the article

Recruitment & Social Mobility

Is it time to ditch the 2:1?

Removing academic requirements from the Graduate recruitment process is something we are talking to our clients about more and more. It’s not a new subject of course, the likes of Nestle, EY and Grant Thornton being prominent in the press talking about how it’s helping them to recruit better quality candidates, yet many organisations are still reluctant to let go of that 2:1 benchmark, believing it to be the best indicator of top talent, whilst airing concerns about quality and high volumes of applications.

Good graduates

So is having a 2:1 and above the best indicator of a ‘good’ Graduate?

Well, the honest answer is that most companies simply don’t know because they are not allowing anyone who doesn’t meet that criteria to apply, and therefore it’s not being measured. More worryingly, having a minimum academic criteria in place, inadvertently disadvantages those candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds (as they are more likely to fall below expected attainment levels than their counterparts).

With those more forward-thinking organisations reporting that large percentages of their most recent hires, obtained below the 2:1 cut off, it will hopefully make it easier for companies to understand the benefits of implementing a fairer and more contextualised recruitment process, where decisions are made on an individual level.

Measuring social mobility

Social mobility is a hot-topic at the moment, so we’d recommend that you start measuring the demographic of your applicants through your applicant tracking system, giving you valuable insight into your candidate pool (and subsequently allowing you to measure how well they do in your business).



I can see the future

Recruitment Virtual Reality

On 1st March I attended the Changeboard Future Talent Conference, and there were some really inspirational speakers in attendance – Martine Wright, Lord Chris Holmes MBE and Sir Clive Woodward, amongst others. The main topic of conversation was of course ‘the future’ and speakers were telling their own stories and making suggestions about what we can expect.

Outside of the main arena, one thing that really caught my attention, was the virtual reality headsets on The Economist stand. They have teamed up with Project Mosul, a group dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage, and have re-created (virtually) Iraq’s Mosul museum which was destroyed by Islamic State.

Click here for article

It was pretty amazing to ‘walk’ through the museum created from crowd-sourced footage and images, being able to wander round the exhibits and hear commentary at the same time – it really brought it to life superbly, which got me thinking about how we can use it in recruitment.

Candidates ask us repeatedly what it’s ‘really like to work there’ and I can see this technology being used to create a ‘day-in-the-life’ like we’ve never seen before. I’m really excited at the prospect of candidates being able to ‘see’ the working environment first hand, to help inform their decision about whether this is the location / role for them. Exciting times!

Millennial generation demand fun at work

Is it okay to have fun at work?

According to the Millennial generation it is. In fact it’s what they expect!

For many generations before them, employment has meant loyalty, not complaining, long hours and fair reward for working hard – certainly not having fun! However, for the Millennial generation they are evaluating work-life through very different eyes to their predecessors. They are looking for work to be exciting as well as challenging, and there is a greater mentality of ‘life is short – enjoy it’ which applies to their work too.

Work/ life balance

So what can employers do about it? In short, they need to be flexible, and able to respond to the need for a more balanced lifestyle, allowing time for fun. For many organisations it’s undoubtedly a challenge to make work itself fun, but a degree of flexibility is needed because Millenials who find themselves in unenjoyable jobs, will retrain in other areas, leave and go somewhere it is fun.

Recruitment challenge

The challenge for recruiters is accepting that traditional screening processes against CV’s, education and experience need adapting. Just because someone is academically a good match for a role is not enough. We need to discover what values job-seekers have, as well as what they find fun to do, helping to ensure they are more closely matched to the organisation and a role that they will find enjoyable.